Lunch with Sandy

I’ve written before that I consider the lecture series at Little Rock’s Clinton School of Public Service to be one of this city’s (indeed this state’s) top amenities.

I go to hear the speakers (it’s free) as often as my schedule allows. When the Clinton School hosts a noon lecture, it always advertises it as a “bring your own lunch” event. To heck with that.

Since the lectures end at 1 p.m., this is a chance for me to drive just down the street and have a late lunch at Sandy’s Homeplace Cafe at 1710 E. 15th St.

The unassuming home of Sandy’s is tucked into the industrial district near the Little Rock National Airport. Sandy doesn’t advertise. You will rarely see a review of the place. She only serves lunch from Monday through Friday.

If you like Southern country cooking, though, you will have a hard time finding a better value anywhere in Little Rock. For $6.50, you get all the food you can eat and all the iced tea you can drink. The main limitation is that you can only have one chicken fried steak or hamburger steak at the $6.50 price. Another one will cost you an extra dollar. There’s always a second meat dish, which is an all-you-can-eat choice. It might be chicken livers one day. It might be turkey and dressing the next.

“That’s one way I keep the price low,” Sandy says.

Also, if you want a piece of pecan pie, it’s an extra $1.50. Needless to say, I’ve never left hungry.

On Monday, after hearing attorney John Walker speak at the Clinton School, I headed over to Sandy’s for a chicken fried steak along with turkey and dressing. I also had turnip greens and mashed potatoes on that first plate.

Once I had cleaned that plate, I went back for the vegetables I didn’t have room for the first time around — brown beans, green beans and. . . Heck, I can’t even remember what else I put on the plate. But it was all good. I didn’t even get any cornbread or rolls, which come with the meal. And I sure didn’t pay extra for a piece of pie.

Put up your own plate and glass when you’re finished. Pay Sandy $6.50 at the register (it’s a cash business). Then, head back to work and try your best to stay awake.

If you haven’t tried Sandy’s, you owe it to yourself to do so. She caters mostly to the workers in that neighborhood, though an occasional “suit” from downtown will wander in.

Where’s your favorite place for country cooking at lunch? I would love to hear about it.

6 Responses to “Lunch with Sandy”

  1. Joyce Hayden says:

    We had never heard of Sandy’s but now we will have to go there! Your description of the food was pure poetry. Sorry, we would have to have the pie, or least I would. Joyce and Bill Hayden

  2. John P says:

    Sandy’s is one of my favorites. Good grub, good price, no waiting.

    I’m sorry to report that another one of my favorites, Madea’s on West 7th St. is no longer operating. The fried ribs were to die for – my internist probably agrees….

    Not sure if the little diner in the gas station at the corner of Faulkner Lake Road and the interstate is still open but it was quite tasty.

    Just Like Mom’s in Sherwood is quite reliable.

    David Family Food on South Broadway may be my destination today.

    Matter of fact, I’m pretty dad-gummed hungry right now…

  3. rexnelson says:

    You are making me hungry, too, John.

    I understand Madea’s was shut down for lack of tax payments. It will be missed from a food sense. But I guess my many years in government leave me little sympathy for those who collect taxes when I pay for my meal and then fail to remit them to the government.

    David Family Kitchen on Broadway certainly ranks high on my list. There is a good review of the restaurant in this week’s edition of the Arkansas Times — Rex

  4. Ted Barker says:

    Rex –

    after reading all your blogs for several months –

    1. How do you not weigh 500 lbs.?
    2. Have you had your cholesterol checked lately?

  5. rexnelson says:

    Ted: It is, of course, my lifelong love of exercise — Rex

  6. Bob Glover says:

    If you’re around the Trumann area don’t miss the Main Street Cafe on Main Street (duh!). Yesterday I had beef liver & onions, brown beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, peach cobbler & tea for about $7.50. It was all great! I can’t afford (caloriewise) to eat there often, but when I do it’s fabulous.

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